‘Tis time! ‘Tis time!
They gleefully cried
And the medieval muses
rushed to my side…
Gather round my friends
and ye shall hear
Of Melissa’s adventures
Both far and near
Of enchanted castles
And storybook tales
of mystical fairies
And love that never fails…
I couldn’t resist the storybook poetic beginning. England just seems to bring it out of me. I think Shakespeare would have been proud, don’t you? Ha!
I’m finally getting around to writing about some of my other adventures in my brief sojourn to Brockenhurst. This time we visit a country manor (a castle in my opinion), stumble upon a fairy tale wedding, and I even captured a photo of a fairy! (It looks like one to me anyway.)
On a cool, rainy November day, I visited nearby Rhinefield House. Driving up a one lane road, the stunning scenery was lined with ancient oak trees in their prime of autumn colors. Then the car turned the corner and the castle came into view. Catching my breath, I just uttered “Wow!” This old castle turned hotel was the epitome of elegance and refinement with years of history around every corner.
Though it was closed when I visited, the Alhambra Room is an artistic masterpiece and the story goes that a woman had it built for her husband as a smoking room. She wanted him to be able to smoke in luxury. I think she achieved her aim, don’t you? (Ah the whims of the wildly wealthy…)
Of course, such a place is a magnet for weddings and there was one in preparation the day I visited. I peeked in the medieval banquet hall to take a photo and was stunned by the wedding cake in the opposite corner. No that’s not a fake photo…the cake was about 10 feet tall. I’m only in the picture so you can judge by my height ( a mere 5’4). Complete with waterfall, I decided that it must have belonged to a fairytale princess. It just seemed like it should belong to royalty. In fact, the whole room seemed to have an enchanted glow about it as I gazed on it from above.
From the grand interior, I exited to silently stroll around the considerable and beautiful grounds…fountains, ponds, autumn arbors and open vistas graced every turn.
Even an old, hidden door beckoned one to secrets that lay beyond…
But time was waning and the secrets of the old castle would have to wait for another day. Perhaps someday I will return…only destiny knows, but with so much country left to explore, it will likely be just another memory tucked away into my love affair with England.
And what of fairies? On a cold, early Sunday morning as I was making my way across the fields towards the train station, I stopped in awe as the sunrise seemed to catch the light of every dewdrop and turned the whole glittering scene into a magical panorama. I had to take several pictures.
While going back through them, I found something I had not seen when I took the photo. If you look on the path, you will notice a small blue light. To me, it looked just like a blue fairy. Had I just stumbled upon her as she was finishing her morning rounds of painting each blade of grass with dew? Who knows? Choose to believe what you will, but while visiting England, magic found me and with it, I found childlike wonder in the every day.
So closes this 2nd chapter of my adventures in Brockenhurst. Will there be more? Yes, for the muses tell me there must be. The magic must be shared… 🙂